Robert Gene Williams was born Jan. 19, 1926 on a farm North of Merrill, Iowa to Claud and Wilma (Lake) Williams. He was baptized at the Merrill United Methodist Church and confirmed in St. Johns Lutheran Church in Merrill. Bob attended school in Merrill and graduated from Merrill High School with the class of 1943. In high school, Bob was a standout basketball player.
Following high school, Bob worked on the family dairy farm.
Bob was united in marriage to Rose Mullins Dec. 21, 1947 at the St. Johns Lutheran Church parsonage. Along with his job at the family dairy, Bob also worked for many years for Swift and Co. at the packing plant in Sioux City. Bob milked cows for more than 50 years, retiring in 1988.
Bob had always been very community minded. He served as the Merrill Fire Chief for many years, taught community CPR/First Aid classes, and volunteered as an EMT for several years.
As a younger man, Bob enjoyed playing and umpiring softball games; and participating in water fights with area fire departments.
Bob's greatest joy in life was his family. He enjoyed time with his children from taking them to the "pit" to teach them how to swim to going for ice cream and a coke at the soda shop. He loved attending the children's activities as well as teaching them valuable life lessons. He was a role model, mentor, encourager to his family.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Rose of Merrill; seven children: Mary Ann (Howard) Phillips of Oklahoma City, Okla., Donald (Mary) Williams of Adair, Okla., Deborah (Randy) Stitt of Sioux City, Angela (Jerry) Reisma of Sioux Center, John (Jane) Williams of Lyon, Neb., James Williams of Merrill, and Janice Williams of Copperas Cove, Texas; 25 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Marvin Juzek, a sister Donna Plueger, a son-in-law John Williams, and three grandchildren.
Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, at St. John Lutheran Church, Merrill, with the Rev. Sarah Nye officiating. Private family inurnment will be Friday afternoon at Hillside Cemetery, Merrill. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Thursday at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with the family present to greet friends after 5 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. prayer service.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.
Memorials may be directed to Hospice of Siouxland.